Rohillas of the Jaura Gotra Descendants of Guga Chohan

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7.  Rohillas of the Jaura Gotra Descendants of Guga Chohan:


            Bhim Raj, in his book already quoted, writes about the famous Rajput warrior Guga Chohan: “Rana Hara left Sambhal, (Morada bad) and reached Dagdera Fort. His son was Rana Bega whose descendant was Guga Chohan, the son of Jaivar”. Tod, in his book ‘Annals of Rajasthan (Volume 11 popular Edition, page 362)’ writes: “Gugo Chohan was the son of Vacha Raja, a name of same celebrity. He had the whole of the jungle or the forest lands from Sutlej to Hariana. His capital called Mehra, or as pronounced Goga-Ca-Mari, was on the Sutlej. In defending this he fell with forty-five sons and sixty nephews, and as it  occurred on Sunday, the ninth of the Month, that day is held sacred to the name of Guga by the 36 classes throughout Rajputana, but especially in the desert a portion of which is yet called ‘ Guga Dev Ka thall’. Even the steed javadia has been immortalized, and has become a favourite name for a war-horse thoroughout Rajputana, whose mighty men swear by the ‘Saca of guga,” for maintaining the Rajput fame when Mahamud crossed the Sutlej.”


            Guga and his history are shrouded in mystery, Nothing definite is known as to when he had flourished. He is said to be a contemporary of Mahmud of Ghazni and Mohammad of Ghor. It is, however, certain that he is regaded as Manlik by the Rajputs, and is worshipped by lakhs of people all over Northern India. The ninth of Bhadon month is celebrated every year in his memory. People from all over the country flock together at his place ‘Guga Vir, Zehir Pir, Bagar Wala and Guga Nag, To a Rohilla of Jauka Gotra he is specially adorned for he is looked upon by him as his progenitor, and the ninth of Bhadon month is regarded as very auspicious in his memory.


Kokcha and Kushanwal Rohillas:


            There are Rohillas who bear a gotra known as Kushanwal and claim to be the descendants of the Kushans who held a sway over India and who gave to the world one of the most famous kings in the Buddhist history by the name of Kanishka. It appears that these Kushanwal Rohillas entered India when Roh Desh was converted into a Islamic territory.


            There is another gotra found among these people known as Kokcha. There is a small stream in Afghanistan, the valley of which is called Kokcha.  It appears that when the people of this region came down to India they adopted “Kokcha” as their clan name in the memory of their origin in the Kokcha Valley in Afghanistan.


Rohilla Rajputs of Takshak Clan:


            We have already mentioned that in ancient times there lived a race in Afghanistan known as Takshaks. In India they were called Nag Vanshils during the period before Christ. One of their leaders, according to the Puranas, was Sehes Nag, who have founded a kingdom in Mogadha and, as asserted by some writers, Chandra Gupta, the first historical and national ruler of India, was also a Takshak. The clean of Chandra Gupta was known as Mauriya or Mori.


             This Nag race, also known as Tak, had come into India from beyond the North-western Frontier of India and Colonel Tod, in his “Annals of Rajasthan (volume II, footnote on Page 1063)” writes: “I have given a sketch of this tribe (Volume I), but since I worte it I have discovered the capital of the Tak, and on the very spot where I should have expected the site of Taxila, the capital of Taxiles, the friend of Alexander. In the sketch, I hesitated not to say that the name was not personal, but arose from his being the head of Takshac or Nag tribe, which is confirmed. It is to Babar or rather to his translator that I am indebted to this discovery, In describing the limiting of Bannu, Babar thus mentions: “And on the west is Desht, which is also called “Bazar and Tak,” to which the translator adds: “Tak is said to have long been the capital of Daman. Mr. Elphinston’s Map, Bazar which Babar makes indentical with Tak, is a few miles from Attock. There is no question that both the river and the city were named after the race of Tak or Takshac, the Nagas, Nag Vanshi or the Snake Race who spread over India. The Taks appear to have been established in the same regions at the cariiet period. The Mahabhrat describes the on wars between Janme jaya and the Takshacs to avenge on their king the death of his father Parikshit, emperor of Indraprasht or Delhi.”

            The quotation above indicates that the home of the Taks was the region in the North-West of India. About the Taks Pandit Gauri Shankar Ojha writes in his History of Rajputana (Volume I, page 261-262). “The Nags existed before the age of Mahabharat. The real meaning of the poetical description of parikhit being ‘bitten to death by a Nag, and the burning of thousands of snakes by his son Janme Jaya,’ is that Parikshit was killed by a Nag Vanshi invader, and as a result thereof his son Janme jaya avenged himself upon the Nag Race in a terrible manner by carrying out their examination in thousands. Mention has also been made of the wonderful power of the Nag Race in the Budhist literature and Raj Tarangni,” Takshak, Karkolak, Dhanajaya, and Muni Nag are the name of the famous kings of old. The descendants of Takshaks came to be known as Tak, Tank, etc. This tribe had spread over a large part of India. In the Vishnu Puram, we read that the Nag Rajas had established their sway in Pagvati (Gwalior), Kantipur and Mathura. In Vayu puran is mentioned that nine Nag Vanshi Rajas ruled Champapur, and seven had a sway over Mathura. The coins of Nag Rajas of Pagvati have been found in various places in Malwa. Several Nag princesses were married into Brahmin and Kshatriya families. The Malwa Raja Bhojwas married to Shashi Prabha of Nag Vansh. The Nag race was divided into may branche. The Tak branch of this race had a small kingdom in Kashta Nagar on the bank of the Jumna in 14th and 15th centuries of the Vikram Era.


           In Central India, in Chakrakot from the 11th to 14th centuries, and in Kovardhi from the 10th to 14th centuries, Nag had their sway. The sindhu branch of the Nag Vansh rule. In shergarh town of Kota Raj, we have an inscription relating to 847 of the Vikram Era in which we have the names like Hindu Nag, Pang Nag, Sarv Nag, Dev Datt. The name of the queen Sarv Nag was Shri. Dev Datt flourished in 847 and had erected a buddist monastry and temple. He was a follower of Buddhism and had been shown, in the inscription as a feudal vassal of Raghu Vanshi and Nag Vanshi Pratihars of Kanauj. At present the Nag Vanshis and their descendants are not found in Rajputana.”


                In connection with these Nags, Shri Kashi Prasad Jaiswal had proved that the Nags of Manju Shri Mul Kalp  were from the Bharsiv Vansh about which coins and other historical records tell us a lot. These Bharsiva Princes had the merit of freeing India from the domination of the Kushans and celebrated the event by performing Ashva Medh Yagna in Banaras. These Nag Kings had as their emblem “Nandi Bull.”


               In the middle ages, these Nag Vanshi Taks had a dominion in the North west and we read in “Yuan Chwang’s Travels in India” by Watters on page 94 : “About Samarkand the king was a man of spirit and courge and was obeyed by the neighbouring States. He had a splendid army and most of his soldiers being Cherkie (Chak or Tak) men. These men of ardent valour, who looked on their death as going back to their kindred and against whom no foe could stand in combat.”


                 General Cunningham in his book  “Historical Geography of India (page 170)” remarks: “Tsekia represents Taki  which appears to have been the name of the capital as well as of the kingdom of Punjab in the seventh century.


                  The people of Sakala are called Madras, Arattas, Jastlikas and Bahikas. Bahikas are said to be the same as the Takkas. Again, in “Raj Tarangni,” the district of Tukka Desa is mentioned as  a part of the kingdom of Gurjara which Raja Alakahan was obliged to cede to Kashmir between A.D. 883-901. The only tributaries of the Indus must have flowed through the kingdom of Takin.” On page 176, it is given; “In the seventh century, the kingdom of  Taki was divided into three provinces namely Taki in north and west, Sharkot in the east and Multan in south.” This kingdom of the Taks extended from the river Indus to Beas, and it was ruled by Tak Kshatriyas. When the Batti Rajputs were expelled from Afghanistan, they entered the Punjab and wrestled the Kingdom from the Taks and established their kingdom beyond the Indus.”


                   About this Tak Kingdom, Mr.C.V. Vaidya writes in his book “Hindu Medieval India” (pages 384-385); “The capital of this kingdom was Sialkot or Skala and that Mihirkula ruled there. It appears that the Hun Kingdom of Sialkot, which was destroyed by yaso Varman, was subsequently seized by a new dynasty of Kshatriyas called Tak or Takshas. Their name is mentioned even in the ChachNama. The kingdom lay between the Ravi and the Chenab, i.e. to the north of Jullundur kingdom. The description given by Tsang accords well with this position, but the remark that the Indus was on its border seems somewhat strange, unless we believe that the kingdom stretched across the Punjab from the foot of the Himalayas to the Indus. The people, he says, were not Buddhist the Taks were, of course, Hindus and remained so throughout their history. The famous chronicler of the Rajputs says that they were one of 36 royal families of Kshatriyas, but they have left no trace of themselves now, as they were entirely converted to Mohammadism in Muslim times.


                 It is not quite clear if Takkiya mentioned in the reign of Shankar Varman of Kahmir by Kalhana is the same kingdom of Tak. Apparently this Tak kingdom is referred to here, though Kalhana uses the word Thakkiya.


                In Chacha’s days the kingdom of Multan was ruled by a Taki and was subjected to Taki in H. Tsang’s time. The taki rule must have beeen mentioned as tributary, for we find it when Mohammed Kasim invaded Multan in 712 A.D. In 712 A.D. there was Bajra Takis rule in Sikka, who opposed him, but it eventually left the place and crossed the river over to Multan.


               The above account mentions the existence of the Taks in the Punjab and the Northwest, when India was invaded by the muslims. It also asserts that all the Taks embraced Islam with the result their name was removed from the list of 36 royal houses. But this is not a fact, as Taks are found even today in large numbers. They are known as Tank Kshatriyas.


Prithvi Raj Chohan and Tak Chiefs:


                It appears that as time passed on the Taks penetrated into the interior of India after dispersal from the north western frontier of India. There was a Mori Tak Chief of Chitor, but it cannot be said if he had any connection with these people or that he had descended from the Maurayas of Magadh. But it is certain that these Taks had their own role to paly in their struggles against the Muslims to preserve their independence. After the invasion of Chitor was beaten off by  Bappa Rawal, the Taks of Chitor migrated in to Asir Grah where they established their kingdom and from where they reappeared came to the assistance of Khuman Rawal, in the 9th century and to that of Prithvi Raj Chouhan, when he had to face the Muslims. Chandra Bardai, the author of “Prithvi Raj Rasau” also makes a mention of a military leader Tak Chetu whom Colonel Tod calls as the “standard bearer” of the Chohan Chief. Besides, there were five chiefs in the court of Prithvi Raj Chouhan and they were known as Nar Bahav, Nag Vanshi, Subear of Hansipur, Sawan Rai Mori, Tak Chata, Arna Rai Mori, Thandai Rai Take and Chohan Mukund Rai. This list names clearly indicate that in the time of Prithvi Raj Chohan, the Taks Vanshis figured prominently and occupied positions of trust and importance at Delhi.


Raja Saharan Of Thanesar, a Tank or Tak Rajput (Who embraced Islam):


                In the popular edition of “Annuals of Rajasthan” by Colonel Tod, we read on pages 87-88. “This ancient foe of Janme jaya and the friend of Alexander closed its career in a blaze of splendour. The celebrity of the kings of Gujarat will make amends for the obscurity of the Taks of modern times of whom a dynasty of fourteen kings followed each other in succession commencing from and ending with the proud title of Mozuffar. It was in the reign of Mohammad, son of the first Tughlak that an accident to his nephew Feroz, proved the dawn of the fortunes of the Tak purchased however with change of name and religion. Saharan, the Wajeool mulk concealed both his origin and tribe. His son Zafar Khan, was raised by his patron Feroz,to the Government of Gujarat, about the period when Timur invaded India. Zafar availed himself of the weakness of his master, and the distraction of the times, and mounted on the throne of Gujarat under the name of Mozaffar. He was assassinated by the hand of his grandson, Ahmad, who changed the ancient capital Anhiwara for the city founded by himself and called it Ahmadabad, one of the most splendid city in the East.


               With the apostasy of the Tak, the name appears to have been obliterated from the tribes of Rajasthan, nor has any search even discovered one of his name now existing.”


                Regarding Tak Sharan, the “Mirat Secundari” gives the ancestory of the apostate for 23 generations, the last of whom was Sehes, the same who introduced the Nag Vansh seven centuries before the Chrisitan era into India.


               The author of the work gives the origin of the name of Tak or Tank from Tarka or explusion from his caste, which he styles Khetri evincing his ignorance of this ancient race.”

           The above quotations refr to Raja Saharan who belonged to Tak tribe of the Rajputs, and about whose ancestory, details have been given in “Mirat Secundari”. Saharan was the ruler of Thanesar. He happened to meet Feroz Tughlk to whom he gave away his sister in marriage. After this he embraced Islam, and he and his sons were raised to prominent positions in the State by Feroz Shah Tughlak. His descendants later on founded an independent kingdom in Gujarat, which was ultimately conquered by Akbar.


             According to traditions prevalent among the Tak Vanshis the Tak tribe of the apostate Saharan was persecuted, but the courageous spirits among them preferred a life of obscurity and poverty of that of gilded slavery and apostasy. It is a fact that the Tak tribe is still found in some districts of the Punjab, as well as in Delhi. This fact has been referred to by Syed Mohd.Latif in his history of Punjab (1891 Edition-page 56.) We give below an extract from that work :-


              “When Alexander invaded the Punjab, he found a tribe inhabiting the district of Rawalpindi, which was called Tak or Takshak. They belonged to that Scythic people who left their country and settled down in the Punjab 600 B.C. They founded Takshila and named it after them and it was invaded by Alexander. It was at that time the capital of Punjab. It was located between the rivers Indus and Jhelum. In the same way a city Taki came to be known after the Taks which has been identified with Asrurabad by General Cunningham. It is 45 miles to the west of Lahore, and in 700 A.D. It was capital of the Punjab. The Tak tribe is still found in the districts of Delhi and Karnal of the Punjab.”


             We have traced the history of Rohillas up to the Tughlak period, but little is known about them after that. This is perhaps due to the fact that they had lead a life of obscurity and did nothing worth recording.